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Maurice Hooker pulls plug on Regis Prograis fight, will campaign at welterweight

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With the fighters unable to agree on a catchweight, Hooker has decided to make an official move up the scale.

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A much-discussed fight between Maurice Hooker and Regis Prograis is dead in the water. Hooker and Prograis had originally agreed to a 143-pound catchweight fight that was supposed to take place on April 17, but that was before coronavirus shut down the sport and forced a postponement.

Earlier tonight we shared news that the two fighters hit an impasse about the weight they would now fight at, and ESPN has since reported that Hooker has decided that he’s just going to make the move to welterweight instead, abandoning negotiations with Prograis. According to Hooker’s trainer Brian McIntyre, he just doesn’t want Hooker squeezing back down to 143 pounds.

“So when the fight came up [against] Prograis, I figured we could make it. Then when the pandemic came, we kind of dodged a bullet, right there. So I’m not going to let him go back down, knowing he’s struggling, and the reality is he wasn’t going to make the weight the last time.”

Those words are obviously going to have people wondering what Hooker’s been up to since he last fought, as he had 144-pound tune-up fight last December and said after the fight he planned to go back to 140 to reclaim his world title. But if there’s any doubt, numbers don’t lie. McIntyre admits Hooker is currently walking around at 168 pounds.

And with Prograis unwilling to fight above 143 — as he obviously intends to continue campaigning at junior welterweight — there’s simply no fight to be made here. Bummer.